Jake Trotta

Jake Trotta

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 13:21

The Weekly Weasel -- Week of 2/6

THE WEEKLY WEASEL IS NOT A TIDE AD

But people who play variants are 500% more likely to eat Tide Pods.

THE CODCON COMETH
While a formal-er announcement is coming from Tournament Director Bryan Pravel soon, CODCON is coming up April 14-15, which means CODCON puns will likewise be back at full force. Full details and sign up info incoming.

DIP, TABLE FOR TWO
Two games on the docket for next week. On Sunday, we’ve got a house game up in Evanston at Pete McNamara’s place. Then we have a special Tuesday edition of Red Wednesday due to the holiday. Still need two for Tuesday- sign up and bring a date, because nothing says love quite like Diplomacy.

FIVE FACTORS>FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES
Speaking of relationships, WEASTATS has begun a deep dive into the Five Factors, or the five measures of a quality diplomacy measure. The First Factor, Explosiveness, has been published in three parts. Hit up the Wise Old Weasel to find out your league championship compatability.

SOPHOMORIC DUES SHAMING RETURNS
People who don’t pay their dues wear sweaters with stains on them. Mr. Rogers doesn’t even like them.

Pay your dues. Make Mr. Rogers proud.

 

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 11:29

THE WISE OLD WEASEL-- EXPLOSIVENESS PART 3

The Wise Old Weasel's Five Factors

Factor 1: Explosiveness

Part 3

OK, TELL ME ALREADY- HOW DO I GET AN EXPLOSIVE SCORE?
Fascinating question, and a great opportunity for me to expand a bit on the mission of The Five Factors. They are softcore analytics, meant to provide data points that help evaluate players and provide benchmarks on what makes a good (Caboosey) or great (Toppy) player. While TFF should reveal what a player’s strategic goals should be, the mechanisms to make those goals happen are a bit harder to find and require other forms of qualitative research. In other words, the Five Factors are meant to show you WHERE to improve, not how.

SO THE FIVE FACTORS ARE LIKE A REPORT CARD, BUT WITHOUT THE SPECIFIC FEEDBACK.
That’s… actually pretty accurate. This article will show you what Explosive games look like. I’ll throw some suggestions as to how to be more explosive at the end of this- I’m hoping we can discuss further in the comments.

OF COURSE IT WAS ACCURATE. NOW WHAT AM I AIMING FOR?
Well, alter ego, I created a cheat sheet for how to get the score you’re looking for. This will be really handy for people who are on the bubble heading into Weasel Pyle.

Hit the jump to know your target for each type of explosive game.

Friday, 05 January 2018 15:59

THE WISE OLD WEASEL-- EXPLOSIVENESS PART 2

The Wise Old Weasel's Five Factors

Factor 1: Explosiveness

Part 2

DOES PREVENTING BIG SCORES MATTER?
In our last installment, we established that players that make Royale have some degree of explosiveness- an ability to have good (40+ point) or great (50+ point) games. While league winners and Royale participants are about equally likely to top, league winners are much more likely to have explosive games.

In football, the sport that inspired this series, there are two aspects to explosiveness: having it on offense and preventing it on defense. Both are critical and positive factors in achieving victory.  This installment evaluates whether this is also true for diplomacy- does having an ability to stop big scores make you more likely to win the league?

The data says that Royale participants and League winners are better at preventing explosiveness. As we’ll discuss more later, figuring out the “why” behind that is a lot more difficult than it is on the “offensive side of the ball.”

NICE SETUP, JAKE. CAN YOU STOP TEASING THE RESULTS AND GET ON WITH IT?
Hey, cool it, bolded alter ego! I get metagaming makes you cranky. Just hit the jump and we’ll get into the practical data.

Hit the jump to see just the role of (explosiveness) defense in winning championships.

Friday, 05 January 2018 15:59

THE WISE OLD WEASEL-- EXPLOSIVENESS PART 2

The Wise Old Weasel's Five Factors

Factor 1: Explosiveness

Part 2

DOES PREVENTING BIG SCORES MATTER?
In our last installment, we established that players that make Royale have some degree of explosiveness- an ability to have good (40+ point) or great (50+ point) games. While league winners and Royale participants are about equally likely to top, league winners are much more likely to have explosive games.

In football, the sport that inspired this series, there are two aspects to explosiveness: having it on offense and preventing it on defense. Both are critical and positive factors in achieving victory.  This installment evaluates whether this is also true for diplomacy- does having an ability to stop big scores make you more likely to win the league?

The data says that Royale participants and League winners are better at preventing explosiveness. As we’ll discuss more later, figuring out the “why” behind that is a lot more difficult than it is on the “offensive side of the ball.”

NICE SETUP, JAKE. CAN YOU STOP TEASING THE RESULTS AND GET ON WITH IT?
Hey, cool it, bolded alter ego! I get metagaming makes you cranky. Just hit the jump and we’ll get into the practical data.

Hit the jump to see just the role of (explosiveness) defense in winning championships.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017 15:37

THE WISE OLD WEASEL -- EXPLOSIVENESS PART 1

The Wise Old Weasel's Five Factors

Factor 1: Explosiveness

Part 1

GOOD LORD THERE IS A LOT OF CONTEXT BEFORE THIS ACTUAL CONTENT

Sorry, rookie Weasel alter-ego, I think its worth it. In 2016, the Sneak decided that one of our club goals should be developing championship-caliber players. That led to a lot of debate this past year over exactly how to evaluate Diplomacy players. This reminded me of Bill Connelly’s Five Factors that he uses to evaluate college football team -- read more about them here. The Wise Old Weasel is going to define Diplomacy’s Five Factors, then look at how important each is to winning championships.

First up, we’ve got explosiveness, aka scoring bigly. In Part 1, we’re going to take a look at how explosive players need to be to make Royale and/or win the league. Part 2 will evaluate whether explosiveness defense is valuable, and Part 3 will look into the mechanics of what makes a game explosive.

For part 1, we take a look at the league (will come back to tournaments at a later date). We’ve developed profiles for your typical Royale qualifier and your typical Top Weasel. As always, all stats pulled are since we moved to the One True Scoring System in 2011.

INTRIGUING. SO WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SCORE BIGLY?

In a typical season, there are about 35 boards. 54% of games feature a score of 40+, while 26% of games feature a score of 50+. We’re defining 40+ as a good score because in lands you in the upper half of tops (ish). We’re defining 50+ as a “great” score because it lands you in the upper quartile of tops (ish). 

Find out how explosive you need to be to make Royale and win the league after the jump.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 16:52

The Weekly Weasel Accomplishes New Things

THE WEEKLY WEASEL ACCOMPLISHES NEW THINGS

But, like, for real though guys, the season is picking up and this might actually become weekly again.

BTOAB ESCAPES CARNAGE SHINING SILVER
A contingent of Weasels trekked out to Carnage for Dipcon, the American Diplomacy Championship. Bull Weasel and two-time defending Weasel of the Year Brandon “BTOAB” Fogel came home with the second place trophy, just behind champion Doug "Also the World Champ" Moore. This is a tremendous accomplishment as only one Weasel has ever won Dipcon. 

As a new club policy, Weasels who podium at a Grand Prix event will get their own interview feature here on the Weekly Weasel. Keep an eye out for that, and say congrats to the BTOAB on a job well done!

GOAT CLIMBS HIGHER AS CLOCK STRIKES 13
We’ve had two games this month that both represent personal bests for the toppers. First, goat aficionado Jake Langenfeld broke baaaaad by dropping a 51-point Turkish effort. Then, Chris Kelly broke out with a 13 dot, 62-point Austrian assault. This puts Kelly and Langenfeld as the early front men for the 2018 season.

DECK THE HALLS WITH FLEETS IN HOLLAND
Two games coming up. First on Sunday the 3rd, former World Champ Chris “Dancing Queen” Martin will be joining us at Johnny G’s abode. Then on Saturday the 9th, Matt “Guitar” Sundstrom is hosting a house game. We also usually do a Christmas bonus bar game, which I’m sure will be put on the books for Thursday the 21st if I ask Santa real nicely. Sign up here.

Hit the jump for news on the Wise Old Weasel, scoring system changes, and a crucial change to the way the club asks for dues.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017 12:18

The Wise Old Weasel -- England

 

To fleet… or not to fleet? That is the question.
Whether ‘tis nobler on the land to plunder
The twists and turns of uncertain theatre
Or to bide time amidst a storm of others
And by waiting end them.

 

THE WISE OLD WEASEL: ENGLAND 

Neville Chamberlain, shortly after deciding to convoy off the island after securing “peace in our time” with France.
He lost Liverpool the next year.

Friday, 22 September 2017 12:47

THE WEEKLY WEASEL PREVIEWS ROYALE

THE WEEKLY WEASEL PREVIEWS ROYALE

Celebrating our club’s most competitive annual tradition, the Weasel Royale Championship Game

This FINAL Weekly Weasel of the 2017 season will preview our second to final board. The next Weekly Weasel will be our 2018 preview, which will come out sometime before the next bar game.

FEATURING
WEASTATS Pre-stats: Your player overview featuring embarrassing photos, statistics, and super sexy radar charts 

Pardon my French Method: A brief overview of our championship power selection

The 8th Place Prognostication: Our newest club honor where the Weasel who just missed the cut with provide our Royale Prediction. This year’s honorary Prognosticator: Bryan Pravel

But before we hear who will be our Bull Weasel, let’s meet the bullshitters contenders!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017 11:51

THE WEEKLY WEASEL PREPARES FOR PYLE

THE WEEKLY WEASEL PREPS FOR PYLE

Election email going out this evening, 3 days til college football, 4 days til we strike the regimental, 5 days til celebration of Labor. It’s a great week to be a Weasel. 

COME NOW WEASELS…
Our club’s most revered tradition, the Weasel Pyle, is this Sunday at Casa O’Kelley. We have 22 24 players signed up, including a sizeable Old Guard Contingent. Come play Diplomacy -- the fun starts at 11, but if we have 6 willing players at 320ish, your writer will actually get to play in the late game. Awards to follow.

Friday, 18 August 2017 12:41

Get out of the box

What up Weasels? I wrote an article for Diplomacy World that I figured I'd pass around. Please note that at the time of writing, i was winning the league standings. Dammit, Brandon...

 

For the full mag, click here. 

 

 

Get Out of the Box: 10 Ways to Take Your Game to the Next Level

 

First, I should introduce myself. I’m Jake Trotta, a new member of the hobby and the Minister of Public Information (or “Speaky Weasel”) for the Windy City Weasels. Our club goals are to grow the hobby and develop championship caliber players. Both objectives require players to learn and develop their game, so I’d like to share a bit about my own development in the hopes that it may help other future players (and Weasels) with theirs. After winning my first tournament, I went through a very difficult 6-month plateau in the hobby. I wanted to get better and tried to improve at the 3 aspects of the game (negotiation, strategy, tactics). I was reading articles, playing gunboat games, getting a lot of games in. But the results weren’t matching my effort level. I lost the league lead, got slammed at WDC, wasn’t enjoying the game as much, and was certainly less fun to play with. After getting eliminated first in our club title game, the Weasel Royale, I asked another player on the board where I was going wrong. “You’re just not having fun anymore,” he told me. That moment made me realize something—a fourth (and perhaps most important) dimension to the game. Attitude. What mentality am I bringing to the board? How is that impacting my negotiation? Strategy? Tactics? If I don’t establish a defined, constructive relationship between myself and the board, it is, by necessity, going to be very difficult to establish constructive relationships with my boardmates. That realization changed the way I evaluate the board, my game, and myself, sparking a rapid period of growth. The following are a set of 10 insights that helped break me out of that mental box.

Hit the jump for 10 (10!) ways to elevate your game!

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